Abstract Grit blasting is a surface plastic deformation technique aimed to increase the surface area available for bone/implant apposition, which contributes to improve fixation and mechanical stability of Ti–6Al–4V implants. Besides roughening, grit blasting also causes surface contamination with embedded grit particles and subtle subsurface microstructural changes that, although does not challenge their biocompatibility, might influence other surface dominated properties like corrosion and ion release. Additional benefits are expected due to the induced compressive residual stresses, hence enhancing fatigue strength. The net effect depends on the type of particles used for blasting, but also on the amount of the subsurface cold work associated to the severe surface plastic deformation. In this work we study the potential of the non-contacting and contacting thermoelectric power (TEP) measurements in the analysis of the global changes induced in the Ti6Al4V when blasting the alloy with Al2O3 or ZrO2 particles, which yields a coarse and a fine rough surface, respectively. To reveal the effect of residual stresses, a set of specimens were thermally treated. The study proves that the non-contacting technique is more sensitive to the presence of residual stresses, whereas the contact technique is strongly influenced by the grain size refinements, work hardening and changes in solute.